A HERO volunteer in Oxford is appealing for help to buy fabric as she races to fulfil requests for clinical scrubs for medics fighting the coronavirus.

Determined to ‘do her bit’ for the community, Cowley resident Janie Hampton put her sewing machine to use to make scrubs for local GP surgeries and hospices in ‘desperate’ need.

The 68-year-old set up a fundraising web page to raise money for more fabric last week, and has raised more than £4,000.

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The author and speaker on women's history, and campaigner for gender equality, said: "I know how to sew well and I wanted to do my bit in this crisis.

“I know GPs and hospices are in a desperate need for scrubs and this is putting a huge stress on them."

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Ms Hampton is just one of an army of volunteers across Oxfordshire who have been donating their time and skills to make hundreds of pairs of scrubs, laundry bags and personal protective equipment (PPE) following an appeal by care homes and hospitals including the John Radcliffe.

With many ‘scrub hubs’ popping up across the county, volunteers hope to help with the shortfall of clothes worn by medics when dealing with patients.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic an increasing number of NHS staff have been using scrubs as part of their personal protective equipment to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Dr. Paul Ch’en at Jericho Health Centre on Walton Street slammed the equipment provided by NHS England as ‘highly inappropriate and an insult to the medical profession’ as he claimed it offered little defence against the virus.

The GP commented on the work that volunteers have been doing: “It is really great to know that people are helping out in practical ways by making scrubs for frontline workers.

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“Medical and care staff really need this kind of support to get through the challenges of the coronavirus.”

Ms Hampton, who has so far only distributed a small number of scrubs to her neighbouring GP surgery, said she received an overwhelming response from people who wanted to join her mission.

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She now has more than 40 volunteers with sewing machines who can start as soon as the fabric is delivered from London.

While the operation of how the garments will be collected from sewers and distributed to NHS worker is still being worked out, Ms Hampton urged medics short of scrubs to get in touch with her.

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Speaking about her fundraising success she said: "It had already surpassed £1,000, which was my original goal, so I thought ‘why not get more’ and increased it to £5,000.

“With every set costing about £10 the donated money can do a lot of good for the local services.”

Another volunteer in Oxford, Lauren Hutchinson, has also been working towards 3D printing face shields with the first batch being released last week.

Find out more bout Ms Hampton's scrubs mission at janiehampton.co.uk

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